4 Reasons Smart Energy Monitor Benefits Rental Property Management

May 8, 2023 | Applications, Technology

The Challenges of Energy Management in Rental Properties

Managing energy usage in rental properties can be a challenge for all parties involved, including tenants, landlords, and property management companies. Have you ever faced situations where energy bills cannot be split fairly among tenants living in private rooms but sharing public areas? Have you ever forgotten to turn off an electrical appliance, leading to a fire due to prolonged use? Furthermore, with an increasing awareness of energy efficiency and environmentally friendly living, tenants expect to be able to manage their living spaces sustainably. To address these issues, smart energy monitors can be a critical tool. Read on to discover why.

Energy bill split


I. The Key to Overcoming Energy Management Challenges

Real-time energy monitoring at all levels of granularity is essential to overcome energy management challenges in rental properties. To eliminate disputes among tenants over bill spits, accurate energy usage data down to room or area level are necessary to resort to. Real-time electrical data such as current and voltage for specific appliances can be vital in mitigating the risks of electrical fires and appliance damages. With the ability to track energy usage in real time, tenants can also identify patterns of energy waste and take measures to reduce costs and lead a more sustainable lifestyle.


II. How Smart Energy Monitors Can Help in Rental Properties

Smart energy monitors provide a comprehensive range of features that enable the collection of real-time energy data at various levels of granularity. By integrating different types of energy monitors, such as smart plugs and sensors, it is possible to monitor not only the overall property energy usage but also individual branch circuits connected to significant loads, such as air conditioners and electric vehicle chargers. Additionally, it can provide information on the energy use of specific electrical appliances at the socket level. This real-time data can be accessed through a phone app or web portal, allowing relevant parties to analyze both current and historical energy usage data.


III. 4 Reasons Smart Energy Monitor Benefits Rental Property Management

Smart energy monitors provide numerous benefits for rental property management. Here are four key reasons why landlords and property managers should consider implementing them:

1. Guiding Pricing of Rent

Smart energy monitors enable access to the accurate energy consumption of each rental unit over time, which to a great extent helps guide the pricing of rent where bills are included, like serviced apartments and B&Bs. Through analyzing the accumulated data and considering the influence of tenant turnover, seasonal and cyclical factors, energy prices and occupancy rates, landlords and property management companies can make data-driven rental prices that can better resist future price fluctuations.

Pricing of Rent

With the energy usage data and operating costs in mind, the lessor can also set an electricity consumption quota without additional charges in advance, avoiding operating losses caused by individuals with excessive electricity consumption habits. This ensures that tenants are paying a fair price for their energy usage and helps to reduce disputes over billing.


2. Customizing the Charging of Bills

Customizing the charging of bills is another benefit of smart energy monitors in rental properties. While electricity meters from energy suppliers provide overall household usage data, smart energy monitors provide a clearer picture of individual electricity usage. (Read to know more about Smart Energy Monitor v.s. Smart Meter) With this data available, landlords and property managers can easily customize how energy bills are charged. For instance, bills for public areas such as the kitchen and living room can be divided among all tenants and added to each individual room’s usage to ensure fair and transparent billing practices.

Monitoring Granularity of Smart Energy Monitors

 Monitoring Granularity of Smart Energy Monitors


Besides, the flexibility of these monitors allows for multi-scenario rental subsidies and bill payments. The basic billing price typically depends on the contract period and the number of tenants in a room. However, for special tenant groups such as students, discounts may be offered, while enterprise-level tenants may receive special offers due to the scale of their renting. The granularity of data provided by smart energy monitors to the room level is necessary for tenants in the same property who may come from different backgrounds and enjoy different billing policies. In addition, real-time usage data can accurately monitor when total usage meets a certain threshold, signaling the start of another pricing stage and delivering a clear real-time total bill to be paid.


3. Enabling Asset Management

Smart energy monitors offer an effective way for landlords and property managers to manage assets. By monitoring electrical data, such as current, voltage, and power consumption, customized alarms can be set to prevent potential safety hazards, such as over-voltage situations. For instance, the imbalance of power consumption can lead to over-voltage at certain phases, which can impair electrical home appliances. A real-time energy monitor can detect the over-voltage status in time and alert the tenants and property manager through a phone app.

Moreover, non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM) technology can be utilized to facilitate asset management further. By studying appliances’ detailed energy usage patterns (current traces/shapes in specific) under different usage conditions, NILM technology can identify which appliances are in use from the main circuit, such as refrigerator, washing machine, microwave oven and other loads. In rental properties, it is essential to ban charging e-scooter batteries indoors, and an alarm can be set when energy monitors with NILM technology detect such dangerous loads in use. Additionally, landlords and property managers can detect malfunctioning or inefficient equipment and address maintenance issues promptly.

NILM Appliances Detection (Ghaffar et al., 2022 )


4. Facilitating Sustainable Energy Use

By providing granular energy usage data in real-time, smart energy monitors can facilitate sustainable energy use in rental properties. This data enables tenants and landlords to identify areas of energy waste and take steps to reduce it, helping to reach the goal of net-zero carbon emissions. Furthermore, landlords can use this data to make energy-efficient upgrades to their rental properties, making them more appealing to eco-conscious tenants. Overall, smart energy monitors promote sustainable energy practices and help to create a more sustainable future.


IV. Smart Energy Monitors as Part of A Smart Rental Management Solution

As renting becomes increasingly common, smart rental management solutions that streamline the rental cycle are gaining popularity. Smart energy monitors are an essential component of such solutions, along with other technologies like smart locks, security systems and various types of sensors. Such an integrated approach not only improves the overall rental experience but also promotes safe and sustainable energy use.

By using motion sensors and smart locks, landlords can detect when tenants leave the property. If smart energy monitors still record usage of high-power appliances-such as instant water heaters and air conditioners- while the tenants are away for 10 minutes or longer, an alarm can be triggered to notify tenants to turn off the appliances through their phone app or by returning to the property.

Smart energy monitors can also provide real-time usage data for billing and checking out at the end of the rental period, allowing tenants to avoid waiting for bills from the energy supplier and ensuring the cash flow of landlords and property management companies.

smart rental management system

In conclusion, the benefits of smart energy monitors to rental property management are clear. From guiding pricing and billing to enabling asset management and promoting sustainable energy use, smart energy monitors are becoming an essential part of modern rental management solutions. As the popularity of rental properties continues to increase, implementing smart energy monitors can help ensure risk-preventive and sustainable management throughout the lease period, benefitting both landlords and tenants. By adopting smart energy monitors, rental properties can take a significant step toward a more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective future.


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